~ Typical Danelectro Guitars Schematics ~
and electronics info
On This Page:

II  Preamble notes about Danelectro pickups  II

ll  Vintage 2-Pickup Dano schematics  II

II  Vintage 1-Pickup Dano Schematics  II

ll  Dano Dane schematic  II

ll  1998-2003 Dano Reissus schematics  II

II  Details about Danelectro concentric stacked pots  II

II  Danelectro pickup parts layed out on work bench  II

II  Fishing Danelectro pickups back Into their mounting holes with wiring harness intact  II

ll  Denny's Humbucking lipstick pickups mod  II

ll  Capacitors & their gate frequencies chart, and how it works with a pot  II

II  Related Info Links  II

II  Footnotes:  About caps, filters, tone circuits, etc.  II

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Vintage 2-P'up Danos with a dual channel, double throw, three-position switch:
( Unused lugs on switch are not shown here, and are often clipped off or used as convenient soldering points ).
Vintage Danos with a single channel, three poles / single throw switch:
Denny's humbucking lipsticks modification:

(1)  With a magnetic compass ensure that both pickups have a South polarity on the top of the pickup.  Verify by reading a North polarity on the bottom of the pickup.  You might rarely find both pickups with a North polarity on top.  If you find one pickup with North on top while the other pickup has South on top, then there is no need to do pickup surgery, but only need to confirm the wiring is in phase.

(2)  With a permanant felt tip magic marker, put an amply visible "dot" mark on the pickup lead that is connected to ground, about 1" from the end that was desoldered.  This will be used to reverse the wires polarity when reassembling the operation.

(3)  Desolder bridge pickup leads and braided ground sleeve wire from harness and remove bridge pickup to your work bench.  Set it on a nice and clean workbench with ample room to work on safely and easily.

(4)  Remove bridge pickup's mounting bracket by carefully removing it's brass attaching nuts.

(5)  Remove the braided ground shielding sleeve wire from the pickup and lead wires.  If the braided wire runs thround the wires' hole in the lipstick tube, it will not be soldered inside and can be pulled out by first loosening it's grip around the wires by pushing it toward the pickup to loosen it's "chinese handcuff" grip on the lead wires, and then pulling it from the liptstick hole.  If the braided ground sleeve is soldered to the lipstick tube or mounting bracket, then it does not need to be desoldered, and the lead wires will pull out of the sleeve by loosening the sleeve in the same manner of loosening it's "chinese handcuff" grip on the lead wires.

(6)  Warm the bridge pickup with a hairdryer to soften any wax potting.  Woring it in 110 degrees F air works well.  At around 120 degrees the wax will melt.

()  Pull on each of the bridge pickup's lipstick tubes, sliding them apart from and off of the internal black-tape (vintage) or heat shrink (reissues) wrapped coil & magnet bundles.  Either or both of the lipstick tubes might only come off slowly due to a vacuum as they are pulled apart.  Feed the lead wires back into their lipstick tube hole as their lipstick tube is slid off of the coil / magnet bundel.  IT WORKS MUCH BETTER IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO PUSH THE WIRES ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE HOLE, ....BUT HAVE SOME OF BOTH WIRES REMAINING STICKING OUT OF THE HOLE (you can secure them so they won't accidently slip through the hole by wrapping them with enough masking tape that won't go through the hole);  But if that's not possible, then the wires can be re-run back through the holes during reassembly.

(7)  With the coil / magnet bundle removed, re-read it's magnet's polarity orientation with the magnetic compass and with white chalk mark the EXACT TOP of the NORTH side of the coil / magnet bundle.  In most cases the other pickup will be South up and North down. 

(8)  If there is wax potting on the coil / magnet bundle or inside the lipstick tube, then reassembly will have to be done in and out of the hot air of a hair dryer that's secured to blow DOWN onto the work without holding the hairdryer, moving the work in and out of the air to keep the wax on the work very soft.

(9)  Reassemble the pickup in reverse order of disassembly;  by feeding it's leads back through their hole in the lipstick tube, ....ENSURING that the coil / magnet bundle is turned / oriented to have the OPPOSITE UP magnetic polarity of the other pickup's UP magnetic polarity, AND by the chalk mark make sure that the coil / magnet bundle is going back into the lipstick tube with it's desired magnet pole aligned EXACTLY UP (not tilted) as it goes back into the lipstick tube.  In other words, when this operation is done, the 2 pickups should have the opposite UP magnetic polarity from each other.

(10)  THE PICKUP LEAD WIRES SHOULD NOW BE SWAPPED-AROUND AND SOLDERED OPPOSITE FROM THEIR ORIGINAL POSITION.  This will put the coil back in phase with the new opposite mangetic polarity.  The coil DOES NOT have to be reverse wound as is commonly but mistakenly said;  All it needs is to be put back in phase with the pickup's new magnetic polarity by reversing the leads from their original hookup circuit polarity.
Danelectro 1998-2003 Reissue 2-pickup guitars wiring:
Evets / Danelectro 1998-2003 Reissue 2-pickup guitars initial factory wiring instructions & diagram:
( Cleaned up by Denny for some sloppiness in the original diagram ).
ll  Return to THE TOP menu  ll  Denny's Guitars Hompepage  ll
CLICK HERE to see Danelectro Dane D3 models sophisticated circuit & switching schematic and logic.
A few preamble notes:

When provided, the wiring colors below are typical for the period of the schematic shown;  But 1950's vintage and some 1960's vintage will have some differences in wiring color code although the circuit wiring itself is pretty much the same throughout Danelectro's history.  You will notice that 1998-2003 Reissues used more grounding wires to ensure maximum ground between all circuit componants.

Due to loose machining toleraces and rather archaic coil winding machine(s) typical of the original vintage Danelectro times;  Danelectro lipstick pickups static impedence from mid-1955 to 1969 varied from about 3.9K to 5.0K ohms, usually closer to 4.5K, with less than 4.0K and more than 4.7K quite rare to find.  From seeing many Dano pickups fitting that impedence range pattern, I am GUESSING that extra wraps, beyond the target winds shown on their archaic wind counter, were wound upon the pickups to leave plenty of surplus wire from which to draw the coil lead ends from and solder to the lead wires, to make up for any boo-boos in breaking or having to restrip / re-solder the coil lead ends.  I have seen both the inner and outer coil ends "scatter wound" on the outside of the coil at different lengths, that also supports my GUESS.  A number of Danelectro-loving technicains, including myself, feel that 4.7K is a good and robust static impedence to find and savor;  A bit more output while still having all of the high dynamics within the 4.0K to 4.7K range.

HOWEVER, the extremely good and tight machining tolerances of modern machining makes almost all 1998-2003 Reissue guitars, and their pickups sold as new (NOS now) parts, .....makes almost all Reissue lipstick pickups right on 4.0K ohms.  With new fresh magnets, ....that 4.0K balance is a banshee of highly dynamic crystal clear tones;  Adjusting the pickups right up close to the strings while the strings are fretted at the last fret, ......gives allot more robust dynamics that react to every nuance of a Player's hands, fingers, picks, etc.  Leaving them set at the factory height provides a good balance of crystal clear tones, and lesser dynamics that many general-public Guitarists favor due to having either not learned to manage or don't care to learn to manage but favor tones that will remains closer to the same no matter how soft they play or how hard they pound on their guitar ...(the main reason that higher impedence pickups have been favored by the general public masses thus most of the market over the years ....usually without Guitarists even realizing it).  ~~~~~~~  Adjusting vintage pickups up close to the strings also wakes up the banshees in old Dano vintage pickups.  After all, it is the clear tones with high dynamics that Danelectro and most DeArmond and other low impedence pickups are famous / endeared for, ....so why not take the nominal time and effort to learn, practice and realize how to handle & use high dynamics with the playing hands, fingers and different thickness of picks, etc. ...particularly at the point of "picking" attack and how the attack is applied and with what amount of force.

Also keep in mind that wires can be reversed between a pot's center solder lug and a specific side lug being used;  So someone in the past could have rewired a guitar with that in mind for easier access to certain solder lugs, better views of part values, etc.

Also notice that in many guitar wirings there are often solder lugs to the left or right of the center lug that are not used in the circuit or only sometimes used, and do nothing in the circuit except for a convenient place to have a common solder lug for several wires, even when switching will put the lug to circuit use for one or more of those wires while the remaining wires are there again simply for common solder point convenience.  Danelectro has always done this well in their guitars wiring.

Also be aware that Danelectro wiring colors changed from time to time. Colors I use in Dano schematics are the colors that existed in the model and year of the guitar I took the schematics from.

See additional links to more Danelectro wiring, diagrams, circuit componants and logic, info and data LINKED AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS WEBPAGE.
Note:  Dual Channel, double throw / double three pole switches can also be used, as is commonly original on Danelectros.
4.0K to 5.0K ohms;
4.5K average.
Pickups are almost always 4.0K ohms
4.7K ohms lipstick pickups are savored by many knowledgeable Danelectro fans; Just the right balance of good dynamics and output presence (voltage).


Stewart McDonald's free and thorough online GUITAR ELECTRONICS information:

Danelectro Doubleneck Guitars Generic Circuit Logic:

Stacked pots internal diagram and additional Dano wiring info and data:

Danelectro Dane series schematics and circuit / switching logic:



Splitting the tubes 1.

Splitting the tubes 2.


A look into the guts of a pot (non-stacked in this example):


If you encounter a lipstick pickup that seems weaker on one end than the other end:


Other guitar schematics can be found within the info on this page:

Vintage 1 pickup Danos with no switch; Such as the 1448 and Pro 1:
1448 (Version 2) harness with it's masking tape backed copper foil shielding envelope (a Faraday cage) opened up:
1448 tone-filter Capacitor. Notice that the outside of the Faraday cage was also taped shut with masking tape:
A 1-pickup Danelectro tone-filter capacitor. Notice the 100K tone pot!:
Early Pro1 1-pickup model Harness; No Faraday cage, just the small steel wire running upward in the photo
that ran through a small hole in the bridge block and grounded to the bridge or a bridge mounting screw:
Notice that protruded axle CTS pots were most common on Danelectros, but flat-back CTS pots were also used for some single non-stacked pots.
Original-vintage (1956 - 1969) single pickup guitars that have a tone toggle switch:
Note:  If a pickguard has a foil backing or has a foil faraday cage;  Then pot grounds are often carried from pot to pot through the foil, sandwiched tight by the washers and nut on the pots mounting sleeves.  In that scheme, some wires in this schematic would be accomplished by simply soldering the appropriate pot lug to the pot casing or some other ground, with no case / continuity ground wire between the pots.
Tone capacitor values and their filtering "gate" frequencies.

(.1 = .10 = .100; same value written differently).
(uF = mF = Microfarad).  
The next 3 schematics show the circuit selected by each switch position:
The very low value capacitor in series with the main signal line excentuates high frequencies by filtering out the "fuzziness" / distortion / "grittiness" of lower freqs while allowing the stronger part of the full range signal to pass on through.  The 27K resistor buffers (softens) the cap's reaction time which can be throttled / adjusted by the tone control.  This cap also serves to maintain treble tones as the volume is rolled off below full volume.
With the switch in the middle position both of the tone control circuits are removed from the main circuit.  The high-pass cap remains in the circuit, cleaning up the signal and excentuating high frequencies, for all 3 switch positions.
The last switch position connects the bassier toned .1mf cap to the tone pot which thus affords a conventional / common function of the tone pot / control.
Footnotes to this page's schematics:


What are tone capacitors?:  Capacitors, or "caps," are simple electronic components that are typically used in guitar electronics as filters or barriers for certain frequencies. Higher frequencies will pass through a cap, while lower frequencies are blocked; With that the frequency range of that gate depending upon the cap's values measured in farad and voltage limit. The value of the capacitor will determine the frequency range that pass (refer to the chart). Using the filtering properties of a cap, we can affect the tone of the guitar.


Characteristics of caps and frequencies:

Higher frequencies travel more readily to ground;  The lower a frequency the more power is needed to achieve a given amplitude such as across a room, through a conductor and through a capacitor;  The higher a frequency the less power is needed for a given amplitude such as to push it across a room, through a conductor and through a capacitor.

A guitar can sound bassier / muddier as the volume is rolled off.  This is in part because resistance in the volume pot is being increased which pushes more of the signal through the tone pot / cap.

Many builders overcome this problem by using a "treble bypass" capacitor between the input and the output of the potentiometer. The most common treble bypass caps are 680 picofarads (pf) and .001 microfarads (µf). The higher the value of the cap, the more upper frequencies are allowed to travel through it. A tone pot uses the same properties of a cap, but instead of letting the frequencies slip by to the amp, they are sent to ground. Most tone control caps are of a higher value than treble bleed caps, so the overall effect will be more noticeable, with more tonal flexibility.


Fixing tone rolloff in passive Volume Control tone circuits:

When you roll off your guitar's volume you will typically notice a loss of high end clarity, this is due to the filter produced between the capacitance of your guitar cable and the volume pot you are adjusting. A very small value capacitor in series with the pickup resolves this issue in that it serves as a high pass filter that will excentuate / pass highs in the guitar's signal and thus to your amp ( and the low value cap allows the full signal to also pass ) no matter what level you have it set to. Cleans up muddy sounds at low volume!


High freq. hi-pass filter to excentuate higher / treble frequencies:

A resistor and cap is placed into the signal line of a guitar's volume and / or tone circuits, and can be in series, or in parallel. Putting a resistor in with the high-pass cap is because:  The cap itself controls how much of the guitar's circuit carries highs to ground. The cap value also changes the frequencies to a small extent.  Smaller caps allow more highs to remain in the circuit but makes the tone thinner as you roll off volume. If the cap value is too high, then as you roll down volume, you actually have a brighter tone lower on the volume than you did with the volume on 10.

The trick is to use whatever cap value is transparent;  ie provides good clarity but when the pot is rolled back the tone
doesn't get too bright from a higher value cap or too thin from lower value cap.  The resistor with the cap controls how fast the cap is allowed to either send or not send highs to ground. To some extent, the resistor can also change the pot taper
and it's resistance; Not sure on this as I've not done a lot of research on it.  I'm also told that the series components have less effect on the taper of the pot and that the series resistor is a more gradual effect on the cap. You'll have to let your ears decide on this one. Both mods work great and are transparent.

Courtesy to Educational Fair Use Sources;  Thank You, Gentlemen:

More info:

Understanding audio taper:  Tech info and graphs of Fletcher Munson curves:


Guitar electronics;  Stewart MacDonald's info on pots and tone capacitors:


Guitar L-pad circuits discussion at Alt.Guitar.Amps Group:

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To read more about this circuit, see FOOTNOTES about 'High freq. 'bleed caps', high pass filter, L-pad
Note:  A tone pot works by providing variable resistance as a variable gate to either block pickup signal from going to ground through the frequency filtering capacitor, or allow varying amounts of signal to go through the pot's resistance gate and then through the cap's frequency gate to ground, which kills whatever signal frequencies get to ground.  The more you turn the tone pot down (decreasing resistance) the more of a pickup's signal goes through the pot and cap to ground.  As you turn the tone pot downward from full on, the pot's resistance decreases, and the high frequencies start to pass through the cap first, followed by ever-increasing amounts of lower frequences as the tone pot is turned evermore downward and thus evermore less resistance to hold back the evermore lower frequencies from passing through the cap to ground.  The lower the pot's resistance (turning the tone knob down), the lower the frequencies are that are not blocked and thus allowed to pass to / through the cap along with all higher frequencies, killing those frequencies by them going to ground;  While the higher the pot's resistance (turning the tone knob up), the higher the frequencies are that are being held back from passing to / through the cap to die at ground.

The power handling capacity and type of cap determines how much of lower frequencies a cap can block (hold back and not pass).  For instance, a 1000 pF (pico-farad) cap typically has a very small power handling capacity and thus can only block the low powered "fuzziness", distortion, harmonics, etc. of frequencies below the cap's band-pass / gate frequency value;  And in that case high frequencies are not blocked due to the crossover value, and lower frequencies cannot be blocked due to the very small blocking capacity of pico-farad values, while the pico-farad values WILL block the weaker "fuzziness" of those lower frequencies;  Which is why low value caps can be used in series along the signal path to brighten and clean up the signal.  Usually, for common capacitors, the higher the value a cap has the more signal it can "swallow" and filter above the cap's gate frequency value shown on the above chart.
The switch is dual channel, double throw, 3 poles per channel.
c   Courtesy of Danelectro / Evets Corp.
Except where noted, this webpage and all of it's elements are copyright 1998-2011 by W.D.Turner.
No element(s) herein can be used except by specific permission of W.D.Turner in writing;
Or by Fair Use for educational purposes only, which is welcom.
.01 uF
.047 uF
.01 uF
.047 uF
NOTE:  It is well known that Nate Daniels would seek out discount prices for quantities of certain parts for Danelectro amplifiers and guitars, to achieve Nate's intent to keep the price of Danelectro instruments as affordable as possible while keeping consumer grade quality relatively high.  That is why the appearance of some parts such as capacitors would change from time to time ....as seen in images of a few different appearing caps on this webpage, .....although the electronic values remained what Nate knew to be the best values for Danelectro circuits;  After all, Nate designed the circuits himself.

So don't be surprised or overly suspicious if you find a green plastic "tubular" cap on your Danelectro guitar while another same model has a blob cap in brown ceramic or plastic.

Common caps were the aqua green "tubular" plastic caps during the 1950s as well as rarer ones in red "tubular" waxed paper, ....brown blobs in both ceramic and plastic through the 1960s, ....and even rainbow color coded polyester caps on some Danos during the Coral period starting in 1966.

The cap voltage limit values were between 100 to 250 volts and their tolerance +/- 10 to 20%.

Switch can be single throw 3 pole;  Or isolated double throw with 3 poles per isolated channel with one channel not used. And sometimes the 2 outer lugs of the channel not used are clipped off.  If there is an unused 2nd channel it's center lug will be grounded to prevent that channel's guts from acting as a noise antenna surface that could cross-talk to the operating channel inside the switch.

'Front' position grounds out the rear pickup's output, and provides ground for the off side of the front volume pot.

'Rear' position connects it's volume pot output to the output jack while the front pickup's leads are looped back onto each other to kill the front pickup.

'Both' position removes the switch from the circuit and allows both pickups wired in series to function.
4.0K to 5.0K ohms;
4.5K average.
4.7K ohms lipstick pickups are savored by many knowledgeable Danelectro fans; Just the right balance of good dynamics and output presence (voltage).
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Many ST1448s had 100K tone pots. Until recently (November 2015) I had thought that 100K tone pots occurred in only the first version of ST1448s (1962-1963) and that 1Meg tone pots became standard on Version 2 ST1448s (fall of 1963); But after extensive recent research I find compelling evidence that 100K tone pots also occurred in ST1448s as late as 1966 and possibly until the model ST1448 ceased ca. 1968. I am now inclined to believe that my seeing so many 1Meg pots in ST1448s might be a quirk of odds, due to 1Meg tone pots being rather "standard" in other Danelectros because 1Meg prevents high frequencies from bleeding-through to ground, ...bleed-through which occurs with a 100K pot through the ST1448's .10mF tone filter capacitor which reduces frequencies above mid-range (see the cap filter frequencies chart further below on this page) by allowing those high-mid and high range freqs to bleed through the 100K pot to ground, making guitars with 100K pots limited to frequencies below high-mid range; And thus many Danelectro 100K tone pots were changed-out to 1Meg pots (after market, and possibly in some ST1448 runs at the factory) to get the signature fuller range of frequencies and their more dynamic sounds (harmonics and "whirps" etc.) that Danelectros are famous for. It also occurs to me that 100K tone pots might have been used to "tame" the ST1448's sound (to bassier) for the "beginners" the ST1448 was designed for and marketed / promoted to, and especially their parents who paid for most of them and often "approved" the purchase by listening to guitars at a Sears store. Notice that the more "advanced" models ST1449 and 1457 have
.01mF (rear/bridge p'up) and .047mF (front/neck p'up) caps, to mellow those pickups by turning the tone knob down but considerably less than a .10mF cap would.

It might very well be that 100K tone pots were more-common for ST1448s (from the factory) than I had previously thought.

NOTE: The green band frequencies are passed to ground thru the cap when the tone pot is turned to full bass (0 resistance). When the tone pot is turned full-on / full-treble the pot has full resistance, preventing or greatly reducing the signal going through the pot & cap to ground, ...where the blue band would be much higher and closer to the full high freqs of the pickup. As the tone knob is turned evermore toward bass, ie less resistance to ground, the blue band evermore drops to the point that 0 resistance allows the cap to completely allow the cap value's freqs to be killed to ground.
Blue freqs continue to output jack and the amp.
Green freqs pass thru the cap to ground, killing those freqs; Regulated by the tone pot.
Chart has tone knob turned all the way down / off; ie. 0 resistance to ground.
.1uF +/- 20%